This is an update post, because I’ve had my head stuck up my you-know-what for the last month working on Murder at the Maples. Today I feel like singing and dancing around the room – the book went off to beta readers yesterday! Yippee! I’m free … for a little while. But even while I’ve been working on the final draft of MatM, there’s still been lots of other stuff going on, and I want to tell you about all of that now.

Feel The Fear And …

Last Friday I took the plunge and went for my very first session with a voice coach who is going to train me to speak in public. Regular blog readers will know that I used to stammer as a child and young adult, and that even though I can talk relatively fluently now I still have a crippling fear of public speaking. But as a writer, I’m closing the door on a valuable opportunity to meet readers if I am never able to give talks or readings, so I decided to take this on and turn it into a challenge. For the next 10 weeks – or longer, if necessary – I’ll be going along to the one-to-one sessions and (hopefully) improving every day. And I’ve just contacted the Festival of Romance organisers to offer to give a reading at the event in November. I went to the festival last year and had a table at the romance fair, but I missed out on all the fun (!) because I wasn’t involved in any of the reading events. If they agree, that can be my target to aim for. If not I’ll think of something else.

Local Author at the School Summer Fair

This coming Saturday I’ll be selling books at my daughter’s school’s summer fair. I’m quite nervous about this – mainly because I think I’ll look a bit of a t*t sitting at a table with a few books surrounded by lovely crafts and the tombola … But I’m doing it anyway. Photos to follow.

Get on your Trike!

I’m having a week off this week – my own version of a week off, anyway, which still involves blogging and doing a bit of book marketing and planning, because I really do love doing all those things. I do! But mainly I plan to relax, do lots of sewing, watch some episodes of Murder, She Wrote (got totally hooked on this doing research for cosy mysteries), and get out on my trike. Now, not many people in the blogosphere know this, but I’m dangerous on a bike. I have no sense of balance and regularly fall off. A couple of years ago we invested in a trike, which is much safer! So this week I’ll be cycling all over Whixall on three wheels – watch out for photos of this too πŸ™‚

Well, that’s it for now. I’ve got a couple other things in the pipeline that I’ll be bringing to you in the weeks to come, and of course the launch of Murder at the Maples – including the cover reveal – will be coming soon. What are you up to this week? Can’t wait to read all about it, Jo x